"The whole gang watches as the drama unfolds."
- Beverly Hills, 90210 promotional tag circa 1997
Let's jump back into TV Proms with the 27th episode of the 3rd season of Beverly Hills 90210:
1. A MORE TRADITIONAL OVERVIEW
We looked at the aftermath of the events of this episode earlier this year ("Donna Martin Graduates!") but here's how it played out in-real-time, in-living-color, April the 28th, 1993.
|For no real reason, the episode begins with some stock footage of old-timey Beverly Hills.|
It fades from there into Donna and Brenda hanging up a prom banner, whereupon Donna learns Brenda's not going to the prom. What?!
|Luckily, super-jock and study group wannabe Tony asks Brandon's permission to ask her, and Brenda says sure, whatever.|
|Sidenote: I completely forgot Michael Cudlitz was on this show.|
Let us pause to note that 1) Tony has the same wildly-improbable hair style as Brandon and Dylan do, and 2) the amount of denim in this season of 90210 is just staggering. Okay, back to the festivities. Brandon, too, doesn't have a date.
|Jim and Cindy are all like "Just go with your sister." Mom! Dad!|
Steve reminds Brandon that he can't skip the prom; he's part of the gang.
|Brandon relents and asks Andrea who, eventually, says yes.|
|I thought at the time and still think this is a very Jimmy Stewart-looking Brandon. (Andrea's channeling Dirty Dancing/ Ferris Bueller-era Jennifer Grey, I think.)|
All the above aside, the real story is David and Donna, of course. David is hoping the prom night is going to lead to sex for the first time.
David's Dad throws a party for his son and her friends and pours everyone champagne. At one point he creepily says "I'll be back in the bedroom, trying to remember my own prom."
"Sure, I passed out some drinks, took some pictures, then announced I was heading to the back bedroom in a cloud of innuendo. Maybe my fly was undone, maybe not. What is this, communist Russia? Some 2015 college campus in America? Keep it moving, Puritans."
|Anyway, the party continues in the limo. Donna gets wasted.|
|Like your prom and mine, the musical entertainment was provided by Cathy Dennis:|
|"Oh whoah oh-oh whoah!"|
|Attempts to get Donna out of there before she gets busted by Mrs. T (one of the chaperones) are unsuccessful.|
|To be continued.|
Prom Tropes: Are we doing it after the dance? Who's wasted? Totally Busted!
2. TWO QUICK THINGS.
|Life before Facebook.|
3. TONIGHT ON 90210...
For the first year of when my dearly departed buddy Klum and I were living in Dayton, we didn't have cable or any rabbit ears for our TV. Which was fine for the most part; the only thing I really couldn't live without at the time was The Simpsons. I'd developed a daily habit with the show and was going through withdrawal. So my family kindly filled up VHS tapes with Simpsons reruns and sent them out my way.
On one of those tapes was the episode "Mother Simpson." You may recall it, you may not, doesn't matter. It ends rather poignantly with Homer saying goodbye (again) to the mother he always thought left him. As she disappears into the distance, Homer sits on his car and this lovely little tear-jerker of a theme plays over it:
I bring this up because on the tape that Klum and I watched, an obnoxious announcer-guy broke in and completely obliterated the mood and feels of the scene with "TONIGHT ON 90210..." and proceeded to rattle off an absurd list of events. I can't remember the exact wording, but it was something like "Evan takes Donna hostage, the whole gang watches as the drama unfolds, and Steve and Claire go away for the weekend." Needless to say, it cracked us up to no end.
That was 1997. Flash forward ten-ish years, and Klum was at the Stalingrad end of a rather epic bender. I don't mean to sensationalize such a thing, but it undoubtedly played a part in what dominated my newsfeed for a few months. I'd sign on to facebook and be treated to things like:
"TONIGHT ON 02879 *: Madeline Albright takes McMolo on a whirlwind tour of the Pentagon! Klum forces Donna to keep his cross dressing a secret with promises of pony play. Kelly vows revenge when she walks in on Dylan using her tweezers in an unconventional manner. Steve kicks Putin in the crotch. The gang drools on the Constitution!"
"TONIGHT ON 02879: Steve falls for Obama when he starts reading his love letters which are actually addressed to Ben Bernanke. Kelly objects to the decision of the Schutzstaffel when her token black baby is placed with Klum and his gay lover. The gang fists themselves!"
or perhaps my favorite:
"TONIGHT ON 02879: Klum flies to Washington and burns the Constitution! Obama complains about everything. Steve sets off in search for peyote. McMolo learns of a Zionist conspiracy at The Post. The gang does unto others and runs!"
* He replaced the Beverly Hills zip code with Wakefield, RI's.
|Ah, Klum. Miss you everyday, you mad bastard.|
I'm still in the process of sorting through his and my correspondence over the years. My original plan was to corral all of his 02879 blurbs into this post and end things that way, but a) there were dozens more of them than I remembered, b) the cast of 90210 gradually receded into the background and he, myself, and Obama took center stage, and c) well, they got a little repetitive. Nothing wrong with that - they weren't meant for anything but facebook hi-jinks - but it seemed the wrong fit for here.
But I like the rhythm of them all ("TONIGHT! Crazy sequence of events! The gang gets blotto!") very much and still felt like ending things on a "Klum" note. So, without further ado, here are some alternate-descriptions of the plot of "A Night to Remember," courtesy of the great archive of Klum-and-McMolo-personal-jokes, redacted and re-assembled.
TONIGHT ON 90210...!
|"A mysterious stranger promises eternal life to Brandon if he sacrifices three souls to his disco serpent god:|
|Mr. Walsh, Nat,|
|Can Andrea stop the slaughter before it's too late?? Or does she secretly yearn for death??|
|The gang accidentally summons Yog-Sothoth from his starry exile!|
TONIGHT ON 90210...!
|Donna's mother sells her to the Illuminati in exchange for power and prestige.|
|To invoke the unholy ritual of initiation, she receives the Cross of Nyarlathotep.|
|Its power? Seductive!|
|Its cost? Your soul... your sanity!|
|Can Kelly and Brenda prevent Donna from giving birth to a new epoch of mind-altering terror??|
|The Outer God takes the form of the gang's English teacher to watch the drama unfold!|
TONIGHT ON 90210...!
|David plays a Jody Watley single backwards and unleashes a demon horde on West Beverly!|
|Tony asks Brenda to Prom, only to listen to her talk about Kelly and Dylan all night long.|
|He woos her with a Tom Cruise finger puppet in the cloakroom.|
|The gang consumes human flesh.|
|was / and|
|All clowns are the minotaur!!|